Can a Christian have a hardened heart?
When we hear the word ‘hardened heart’ most people think about Pharaoh
In the bible. And while, yes, it is an example of hardness of heart, the truth is that anyone can be hardened.
To be hardened is to refuse to apply yourself or refuse to consider what you know or what you have seen. I.e., not letting what you know affect or change your views.
Lets look at some scriptures:
Mark 6: 49 – 52
49But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:
50For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.
51And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.
52For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.
This first account refers to the disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. Yes they followed the Lord but had hardness of heart. They saw Jesus walking on water and were afraid. The bible gives the reason ‘ for they considered not the miracle of the loaves of bread.
The account of the miracle of the loaves of bread had just happened, Mark 6: 32 -47, Jesus had just gone to pray.
The miracle should have affected their heart, but it did not because they did not consider it to allow it to affect them. When we don’t allow what we know to affect or change us, we become hardened in that area.
Mark 16 : 11 – 17
11And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
12After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.
13And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.
14Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
Jesus told off His disciples for unbelief and hardness of heart. This shows us that they could have done something about it. By simply believing and setting their hearts to consider all what the Lord had told them before hand. How we need to be very careful.
I think we need to be honest with the state of our hearts and ask for help. It is easy to be hardened in some aspects of truth if care is not taken.
But there is hope, just after the Lord rebuked them for unbelief and hardness of heart, He gave them the great commission.
Lets be honest, identify areas in our hearts where we have not allowed the Word of truth to work on and call for His help.